Experts: Warming Waters Mean More Sharks, Whales

HYANNIS – Between sharks, right whales and now a recently spotted orca, marine life experts say that Cape Codders should expect more varieties of marine animals off the shoreline as waters warm and decades of heavy human activity is scaled back. 

Dr. Bob Hueter with the research nonprofit OCEARCH says great white sharks, like Andromache seen last week, will arrive earlier and earlier as waters warm.

“Whereas before you’d start to think about this as an issue in July, maybe as early as late May and certainly June is now the time when white sharks may already be there based on water temperature,” said Hueter.  

He added that the recently-spotted Orca is further testament of the return of more active oceans that once was a hallmark of the Cape decades ago.

 “You hear a lot of doom and gloom about the ocean, I prefer to focus on the positives and the success stories. And one of the great success stories is the eastern coast of the Untied States,” said Hueter.

“We haven’t turned absolutely everything around, but in many ways the fishing has never been as good as it is now.”

Hueter said that the more sharks, whales and other marine life frequenting the cape is a sign of a healthy ecosystem benefiting from more stringent conservation efforts. 

Though herring has been sparse, Hueter said that less pollution, fishing regulations and restoration efforts have done wonders for the Cape’s offshore ecosystem and speaks to the region’s ability to reverse the impacts of human activity. 


About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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